What are bluegrass billbugs?
Adult bluegrass billbugs are blackish grey in colour with a hard body that is about 5mm in size. They can be distinguished by their long snout like forehead. The adults survive in the thatch layer during the growing season. The adults may cause minor damage to the lawn by chewing holes in grass blades; however, the damage inflicted is minor compared to that of the larvae.
Larvae are legless with a fat whitish body and brown head. They feed on the grass roots and stems, often cutting the roots and stems of the grass off, allowing the plant to be pulled up easily. Bluegrass billbug damage frequently resembles drought symptoms. Large areas of your lawn may appear wilted with a yellowish brown colour, however it will not respond to watering.
Life cycle of the bluegrass billbug.
Bluegrass billbugs require one year to complete their life cycle. They survive the winter as adults living in protected areas such as gardens. Early in the spring they emerge wandering about the lawn. By late June, the females begin depositing their eggs in the lawn. The eggs begin hatching in about two weeks. They feed on the grass plants while moving into the soil. Serious damage may occur in the summer. If the problem is ignored, the brown patches will get larger and damaged areas will then fill in with weeds and crabgrass. The best time to control the bluegrass billbug is when they are very young (June-July) before you are faced with severe damage. By early fall they begin to transform into adults to overwinter. While in the adult stage they are extremely difficult to control.
What can be done to treat bluegrass billbug?
Promptly treating potentially devastating bluegrass billbug infestations can help protect the investment you have made in a lawn care program and your property. If you notice suspicious brown patches starting to appear in the lawn DO NOT HESITATE! Call your local Weed Man Professional for a free healthy lawn analysis. Weed Man can verify the presence of a potentially damaging infestation, discuss preventative measures and recommend treatment if required. Consult with your local Weed Man Professional to discuss all options with respect to dealing with insects in your lawn.